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Joining others in thanks

 

I’ve called her Firefly. My oldest daughter with her artistic bent and her sometimes intense emotions. Her eyes twinkle and her dimples appear and she entrances me in her light. But just as quickly, her light flickers and her face and heart are suddenly dark and brooding. Sometimes, I think she is art embodied.

 

 

And I have a confession to make. These Thankful Mondays? They’re wonderful and all, but I have not been living the thanks. My ingratitude colors my days much, much more than the gratitude has. Mondays come, and I reflect on His gifts to me, try to develop an eye for Jesus, but the gratitude has been more like quick, Polaroid snapshots in my life.

 

Today, I am grieved over the ways I’ve allowed my heart and mind to dwell on what I’ve perceived as the Hand behind His back.

 

Yesterday came and because of sickness in our friends’ household, our normal Sunday church small group routine was changed. We were still able to meet, but the children would be at our house instead of our friends’, and Firefly’s little girlfriends would not be coming.

 

Enter 3-year-old, little girl heartbreak. Bitter disappointment.

 

She cried.

 

And then she got angry.

 

Disrespect toward me entered her tone of voice and she lashed out at me in anger.

 

But I saw her, trying to fight back those disappointed tears, trying to hide them behind her little-girl-fury.

 

Over the course of a couple of weeks, the Lord has been showing me how to better parent this emotional child. I’ve (finally) learned that the anger is her defense. It is her coping. Does it excuse her behavior? Uh, that would be a *big* no. But thankfully, the One who teaches me is slowing giving me insight into how this little girl of mine chooses to paint with whatever colors life throws at her. Hopefully, this insight will help me teach her how to better handle life’s disappointments, and consequently, her emotions.

 

But simultaneously, as my heart achingly watched my beautiful girl lash out in anger as she choked back tears of disappointment, I saw myself.

 

The ingratitude, the disappointment, the things in life not happening the way I’ve wanted them, or expected them, or life not happening in my own swift timing . . . these things show up in my crankiness. My seeking for more. For something else. My anxiety. My insecurities.

 

Ah, yes, my paint-choosings.

 

My lack of trust and gratefulness colors my world in ugly brushstrokes of black, dark greens, and browns.

 

And these Mondays help me brush some different colors. My Monday afternoons are cheerier. Yellows, reds, and purples.

 

 

But I want my whole life to be full of the beautiful brushstrokes of thanks and trust. The living in grace and truth.

 

It takes time to paint a masterpiece. It takes a Master. I’m asking Him to use His brush. Chisel, if need be.

 

I do, indeed, have so very much for which to be thankful. Eternally grateful. But for today . . .

 

just . . .

 

#302 that I can go to Him, confess what He already knows, and it’s like a blank canvas. again. and again.

 

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6 responses »

  1. I love the picture you painted in the imagery of this post. YOU are a blank canvas that God painted a beautiful picture upon the day He created you. Now to look at the picture through His eyes… I see it, Audra, from the glimpses I catch of you in your blog… a beautiful painting that He’s hung on His wall. One day you’ll stand and look at it together, and smile into each other’s eyes.

  2. Audra,
    Oh how I understand this post! Your description of our struggle with ingratitude at times in our lives is…just beautiful. I need that same Master and the colors of Monday’s work of thanks, too. Thank you for expressing my thoughts in your always lovely poetic way.

  3. Oh, Anna! What to say, but thank you?!

  4. So glad we’re trying to be a grateful people . . . together, Beth. 🙂

  5. Chisel if need be! Me too! Struggling with my own paint choices. This post brought me a breath of hope. . . one day at a time, choose color and thanks. 🙂
    Also, firefly is a beautiful artists-impressive!

  6. Thank you, Ashley. 🙂 She definitely enjoys a blank sheet of paper. 🙂

    Yes, one day at a time is a much more manageable though! Maybe one *moment* at a time? 😉

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